Some important facts on the Agencies of Socialization

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One of the reasons for the increasing crime in society is the failure of the socializing agencies to properly and adequately socialize the child. The modern family faces a crisis today and suffers from parental maladjustment which adversely affects the process of socialization.

The educational system is full of draw-backs. The school is no longer a temple of education. It is a place where boys and girls learn more of drugs and alcohol and less of cultural heritage. The onslaught of urbanization has abolished the neighbourhood system and snatched playmates from the child who now plays with electronic games than with the neighbourhood children. Similarly religion has a lesser hold in an urban society and state authority is more disobeyed then obeyed.

It need not be said that in order to have socialized beings these agencies should function in an, efficient manner. The modern society has to solve several problems of socialization and for that purpose it has to make these agencies more active and effective.

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Briefly mentioned the chief agencies of socialization are the following:

(i) The Family:

The parents or family are the first to socialize the child. They are not only closely related to the child but physically also they are nearer to him than others. From the parents he learns his speech and language. He is taught societal morality. He learns respect for persons in authority. In the family he learns a number of civic virtues.

The family is rightly cawed the cradle of social virtues. The child gets his first lessons in cooperation, tolerance, self sacrifice, love and affection in the family. The environment of a family influences the growth of a child. The psychologists have shown that a person is what he becomes in a family.

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In a bad family the child learns bad habits whereas in a good family he acquires good habits. An important cause of juvenile delinquency is bad family environment. A time of mate choice the parents also try to find out the family history of the boy and girl in order to know their good and bad points. The relationship between the parents and the child is one command obedience. In case the child does not follow the rules, he may be coerced. Of the parents it is the mother who first begins the process of socialization. The family continues to exercise its influence throughout life. There is a vast literature on family to describe its role in society.

(ii) The School:

The school is the second agency of socialization. In the school the child gets his education which moulds his ideas and attitudes. A good education can make the child a good citizen; while a bad education can turn him into a criminal. Education is of great importance in socialization. A well-planned system of education can produce socialized persons.

(iii) The Playmates or Friends:

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The playmates and friends also are an important agency of socialization. The relation between the child and his playmates is one of equality. It is based on cooperation and mutual understanding.

They are mostly of similar age. As told above, the child acquires something from his friends and playmates which he cannot acquire from parents. From them he acquires cooperative morality and some of the informal aspects of culture like fashions, fads, crazes, modes of gratification and forbidden knowledge.

The knowledge of such things is necessary from the social point of view. To take an example, the knowledge of sex relations is considered in our society something undesirable for a youth till he gets married. If such knowledge is banned strictly until marriage, the performance of numerous functions of sex life may be difficult after marriage. This knowledge the child acquires from his friends and playmates.

(iv) The Church:

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Religion has been an important factor in society. In the early society religion provided a bond of unity. Though in modern society the importance of religion has diminished, yet it continues to mould our beliefs and ways of life. In every family some or the other religious practices are observed on one or the other occasion. The child sees his parents going to the temple and performing religious ceremonies. He listens to religious sermons which may determine his course of life and shape his ideas.

(v) The State:

The state is an authoritarian agency. It makes laws for the people and lays down the modes of conduct expected of them. The people have compulsorily to obey these laws. If they fail to adjust their behaviour in accordance with the laws of the state, they may be punished for such failure. Thus the state also moulds our behaviour.

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